‘I met you in California, you told me you loved him in Georgia, your heart’s in the ground, frozen over my heart’s in the sky, supernova’, I don’t know about you, but doesn’t take me more than a second to recognise that worldwide hit ‘Supernova’ with Kanye West. If you loved that naughty number, than you’ll love what’s coming out this Autumn – stuffed full of ludicrously catchy anthems in the making and a roster of hot up and comers such as Vic Mensa, Schae, and Taylor Bennett. Are you ready for this return, because we can’t wait!
Pretty cool to have had this insightful interview with Mr Hudson. As a fan, restraining myself from asking 101 questions was difficult to say the least…
You’ve worked with the creme de la creme writing and producing for some of the biggest and most impactful musicians, each having such a huge variety of talent and different emotions behind their songs. How do you dive into each artists universe at a level of depth and passion that enables you to be able to portray the message that they are trying to tell through their songs?
Mr H: Because every project is different and every day is different, the most important thing is to be able to do improvise and adapt. You can walk in the room with an idea and if it’s not working you’ve got to keep it moving. The most important thing is to leave your ego at the door and just focus on making something special that the artist or band will be excited about performing and promoting.
What is the best and worst experience you have had working with an artist?
Mr H: It’s hard to pick a best experience as I’ve been lucky to have some incredible encounters. Recently I’ve been working with John Legend and recording his vocals I feel like I’m in a movie. He’s obviously a formidable talent, but remains so down to earth and kind.
The worst experience I’ve had would be trying to crowd surf at a festival and breaking my heel. Then I had to get on a plane to Miami for a two day session that cancelled at the last minute. I was on crutches so I couldn’t even go the beach or go for a drive so I just sat in my hotel room for two days then went back to London, via New York. A humbling experience.
Do you think studying English at Oxford gave you a further and deeper love for writing and words, and has this then subsequently given you a more mature and direct focus on your song writing?
Mr H: Studying English gave me a sense of perspective on lyrics pop music. It’s never going to be Shakespeare so just say some cool stuff and don’t overthink it. It also taught me that the more you learn the more you realize how little you’ll ever know. So expertise is one thing, but don’t beat yourself up for not knowing everything. Just use what you have and do what you can.
Being chosen to appear as a special guest at the Celebrating David Bowie concert and performing with his band – he was such an icon, was there ever a point you felt the gravity of what you were about to be a part of?
Mr H: Performing with Bowie’s band was huge for me. But weirdly it didn’t make me too nervous. I was too busy enjoying myself. It was such an honour. If you’d told me at 16 that one day I’d be singing with his band I wouldn’t have believed you.
When you create music are you aware of the legacy that you are leaving behind? Is this something you think about and does it effect the way in which you produce?
Mr H: I try not too think too much about what I’m doing otherwise I would choke. Music should be more physical than cerebral. The intellectualizing come’s afterwards. The creation and enjoyment should visceral and in the present. With WTMS I realize now that there’s all sorts of social commentary going on… but at the time of writing I was just opening my mouth and letting words come out. It’s only when I step back that what seemed surface and abstract has depth and story.
You must be inundated with requests from fellow musicians wanting to work with you, how do you choose who to collaborate with?
Mr H: It is hugely flattering to get lots of requests to collaborate but sadly I have to decline most of them. Otherwise I would be spread too thin. I’d rather focus on a handful fo projects and do them justice. I like to work with people I believe in. Where the intention is coming from the right musical place.
Teasing us with your new single Chicago has left us buzzing for your latest album ANTIDOTE to be released. We’d love to know more about this album and what to expect, any hints of a tour on the horizon?
Mr H: I’m glad you’re enjoying Chicago! WTMS is the product of me fighting my own eclecticism. It’s my attempt at sophistication through simplicity. Hopefully it sounds like it’s cut from the same cloth. All my fav albums from back in the day are like that. It’s also the product of my traveling too much and feeling a little isolated in my new home of Los Angeles. Then put that headspace through a sci fi filter and you get WTMS. I’ll be interested to see who gets the sci fi references… Sonically its a simple equation of drums that slap, minimal keys and my sad robot vocals.
Rumour has it you are quite the phenomena on the decks and with a dandy dress sense who better to DJ for than Versace, LV, Adidas, and more. Is there a difference between the way you perform amongst fellow artists, the fashion houses, and fans?
Mr H: When it comes to DJ sets it’s all about reading the room. I suppose this applies to producing, writing and everything else.
Unfortunately that’s the end… I wish it wasn’t and that there was so much more to share with you, and hate to be the one to tell you, but it’s over.
Words: Persephone Quarme